Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Going Legit

13 Responses

  • David Cormack,

    It'd be awesome if the Dom Post actually featured it in the Sports' section of the paper rather than some novelty entertainment act...

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report

  • Hadyn Green,

    It has been in the Sports' section before. Once when they won the Wellington Sports Personality award and I think there was a bout report once as well.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report

  • 3410,

    "You can't have a name like 'Cunty McTaintStain' and expect people to take you seriously". This is not the point in the evolution of roller derby where everyone understands that it takes skill and fitness to be a player; that happened after the first few bouts. This is where roller derby goes legit.

    or "sells out". Depends how you look at it I guess. I'm kind of surprised by this development. The girls I knew of who... er, derbied(?) didn't strike me as the type who gave much of a fuck whether anyone considered them "legitimate" or not. In fact, RD seemed to me a haven for the kind of rebel chicks who found mainstream sports too square. So, - like I say - surprised.

    Anyhow, good luck to 'em. :)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report

  • Megan Wegan,

    Athleticism and strategy with moments of flashy entertainment. Solid work followed by showboating.

    See, I still see a comparison to rugby. Or, you know, any sport. There's showboating in every sport. But does anyone consider Usain Bolt less of an athlete because he takes a victory lap?

    3410, I don't think it's selling out. At some point, if you want the sport to grow - and if you love it, surely you do - you have to accept that you need funding and crowds and sponsorship. Whether or not nixing the fishnets is the way to get those things, I don't know. But as someone who briefly got onto skates, the derby girls are phenomenal athletes, and should be recognized as such, without the distraction of short skirts and face paint.

    Which is not to say I don't miss the Newtown gym days. I do, but like Hadyn says, the sport is evolving.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report

  • Michael Foster,

    I don't know, it seems to me that people not taking derby seriously because of the costumes or names is a bit like telling Black people they shouldn't wear hoodies if they don't want to be perceived as thugs. It's the people thinking that way who have a problem, not derby itself. I'm far from the cleverest guy on the street, but I saw right from the start (and I was at the first ever Richer City bout) that derby was a proper sport, but it also had elements of theatre and dramatic flair that added an extra element of awesome, not detracted from it. What set it apart was the individual element, a team sport that had room for people to be a bit quirky or different with their outfits and appearance, but still being recognizably part of the team and a serious athlete. If derby going more "professional" means losing that and becoming uniform and standardized then maybe I'm no longer "fan of the year."
    Don't get me wrong, watching how the skill level and fitness of the skaters has improved over the years has been amazing, I just don't see why it has to be at the expense of the fishnets and face-paint side of things. But I still stand by what I said a while back, that the day skaters start wearing sponsor logos on their uniforms, I'm done.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2009 • 9 posts Report

  • Simon Poole,

    I'm torn, to be honest. I was there at the beginning, and my feelings are very much like Michael Fosters, as above.

    However, derby doesn't belong to the fans. It is whatever the girls want it to be. If they feel that ditching the fishnets and pseudonyms is a way to gain increased legitimacy (In whose eyes, I am not sure - Media?) and widespread coverage then more power to them.

    I am sure this is a debate that will be had in each league and probably more than once in the coming years. I also imagine that the ARDL/Pirate City schism will be repeated occasionally.

    Since Dec 2008 • 161 posts Report

  • Greg Bodnar,

    I've been hanging around roller derby since a while back and I've kinda watched it change each season. I've watched the posters change, the costumes change and the style of play change. I distinctly recall our panic at the introduction of Slow/Tactical Derby (see Derby Nerd's "Great Leap Forward") Everyone has upped their game, and the reffing team has had to as well. What hasn't changed is the excitement of the girls on the track. They've always had the desire to play the best game they could play, even when they weren't winning. I don't expect that will go away any time soon.

    I think it's worth noting that the PCR/ARDL split is still quite fresh. This year should prove out whether there's room for both in the derby world. The leagues will each decide how they conduct themselves. If they both draw crowds, then they're doing it right.

    I can certainly appreciate both talent and showmanship.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2009 • 15 posts Report

  • Simon Poole,


    Hi Greg! Hope to make it to some actual derby later in the year when life is a bit quieter.

    I'd make the point that talent and showmanship aren't mutually exclusive for either style of league. I'm sure ARDL will have plenty of showmanship, and everyone knows how talented the skaters at RCRD can be.

    How did the slow derby thing turn out in the end? I do remember it portrayed as some sort of Pandora's box that would doom any league that dared peek inside. I also remember having a couple of interesting discussions with Dan about how it needed to be reffed. Hope you guys got it sorted :)

    Since Dec 2008 • 161 posts Report

  • Greg Bodnar,

    Hey Simon. It's gotten a lot easier to manage recently. We went to the WFTDA reffing clinic that PCR hosted and were taught better divisions of labour. Hopefully, calls won't be frantic and the pack work will be a lot easier than last season.

    I guess the answer to your question is that the game has moved forward. It's not a Pandora's box of anything. Also, when the teams are balanced, it doesn't really get used much. The big draw is during a power jam, so jammers better stay out of the box, right?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2009 • 15 posts Report

  • Max Call, /
    The above story also has about a dozen photos of the action on the night. They reckon around 900 people turned up to watch at the PG which is a pretty good turnout for something that is relatively new to the Bay.

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    and when all else fails, there is the third league....

    ;- )

    *thanks to boingboing

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • blanco07,

    i'd love me a rollerblading girlfriend. send free text messages at

    mexico • Since Apr 2012 • 1 posts Report

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Time for a rugby-themed discussion? The Blues almost redeemed themselves against the Chiefs last night but we are revelling down in the Waikato in the 58 top-of-the-table position,

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report

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